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The Outside Game
How the sociologist Howard Becker studies the conventions of the unconventional.
By Adam Gopnik
Americans have often had strange and serendipitous careers in Paris, from Thomas Evans, the Philadelphia dentist who cured Emperor Louis-Napoleon of a toothache and became an indispensable ornament of the Imperial court, to those African-American jazzmen, like the great soprano-sax player Sidney Bechet, whose careers were revived, and reputations nurtured, in France in ways they never could have been in America. But few have known an odder trajectory than Howie—“Only my mother ever called me Howard”—Becker. Howard S. Becker, to give him his full, honorary-degree name—he has six—has been a major figure in American sociology for more than sixty years. Now a brisk eighty-six, he remains most famous for the studies collected in his book “Outsiders,” of 1963, which transformed sociologists’ ideas of what it means to be a “deviant.” In America’s academic precincts, he is often seen as a sort of Richard Feynman of the social sciences, notable for his street smarts, his informal manner, and his breezy, pungent prose style—a Northwestern professor who was just as at home playing piano in saloons. (Indeed, the observations that put him on the path to academic fame, on the subculture of marijuana smokers, began while he was playing jazz piano in Chicago strip joints. “Not burlesque houses,” he says. “These were strip joints.”)
The Outside Game. (2015). New Yorker, 90(43), 26-1.
A 33-story building slated to be built on Riverside Boulevard in New York's Upper West Side has citizens and city officials in an uproar, according to an article recently published in the New York Times. The building is going to contain 274 units, but 219 will be sold at market rate as condos, and 55 will be apartments for rent to people making 60% or less of area median income. What has people in an uproar is the fact that the condos and the apartments will have separate entrances.
2nd floor (North) - Reference collection, Reference desk, LIBRARIANS, Internet computers, Group Study Rooms
2nd floor (South) - Microfilm Periodicals, Library Instruction classrooms, Quiet Study Area
3rd floor - Circulating collection (check out books & media), Circulation desk, Group Study Rooms
4th floor - Library McAllister Collection & Performance Area, Group Study Rooms, Quiet Study Area, Reserve collection, Reserve desk, Interlibrary Loan, GET CHANGE & PAY FINES $$
5th floor - Library Faculty & Staff Offices, Acquisitions, Discoverying
The German social scientist Max Weber (1864-1920) was a founder of modern sociological thought. His historical and comparative studies of the great civilizations are a landmark in the history of sociology.